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An Oral History of the Frank Gore Era in Philadelphia

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We come not to bury Frank Gore, but to praise him.

Daniel R. Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have had a long history of catching a fleeting glimpse of greatness. Mike Ditka. Chris Carter. James Lofton. Richard Dent. Art Monk. Terrell Owens. Jeff Garcia. Frank Gore. The Gore era came and went in what felt like a heartbeat, but he left his indelible mark on a team, a city, and a fan base.

Matt Dering, co-host, BGN Radio: Frank gore left the field with the lead.

At least he did in my mind. I remember my high school graduation, the year gore spent hurt at Miami, how hollow it felt, knowing that I hadn’t gotten to see him play at all. I think that was when I knew that I was maybe TOO invested in Frank Gore. Not just as a football player, but as a role model, and a friend. Whenever I was struggling, and I’ve had my share since 2005 when the 49ers made him a 3rd round draft pick, I knew I could depend on Frank Gore to be there for me.

I don’t know what else to say. Frank Gore helped shape me into the man I am today.

Patrick Wall, co-host, BGN Radio: I was tempted to respond with an emotional, off-the-cuff indictment of player, team and fanbase. But then I took a step back and remembered that Frank Gore was better than that. He deserves better than that from us, because he brought out the best in us as a city.

Dr. Pizza, contributor, Bleeding Green Nation: Wow. It’s difficult to truly encapsulate what Frank Gore meant to me, not only as a successful Eagles football player, but as a human being and a mentor. You know it’s funny, now that I’m thinking about it I remember the time when he first signed here like it was yesterday or maybe a week or so ago. His aura…I could feel it. It was almost tangible, palpable. The grace he displayed during his time with the Eagles changed my life forever – after watching him for so long, I really felt like O could do anything. He was a special player here and will be missed by the fans, especially me. I loved Frank Gore.

Dan Klausner, Associate Editor, Bleeding Green Nation: Frank Gore never disappointed us on the field, which is quite the remarkable feat for a Philadelphia professional athlete.

The signing of Gore couldn’t have come at a better time. Still reeling from the stunning announcement that LeSean McCoy had been dealt to the Buffalo Bills, for an Oregon Duck, Eagles fans were in despair. Gone was an iconic, great player, who could possibly fill the void? Enter Frank Gore, savior. A five time Pro Bowler who had led the 49ers to a Super Bowl, Gore recharged the fanbase and gave hope to what had suddenly seemed a dismal season.

Wall: I'll never forget the news of the signing. It was a rush; a mix of confusion mixed with another kind of confusion mixed with incredulity mixed with a third kind of confusion. The more I thought about it, the more clear it became though that this was a signing for the ages. Little did I know that I would be right - for all the wrong reasons.

John Barchard, Executive Producer and Host, BGN Radio: I love Frank Gore and I think he loved the city. When you sign a contract like that and it moves you to tears, that really shows how much dedication and respect he had for the fan base.

Pizza: When it was announced the Eagles signed Frank Gore I could hardly control my excitement. I was talking to my divorce attorney at the time, readying papers for my impending divorce when we both heard it over the radio on 97.5 The Fanatic. Though the fact that my wife now loves another man hurts, the fact that we got Frank Gore in the backfield was absolutely the best day I’ve had in about three years.

Then, like his 55 yard touchdown against the Eagles because nobody covered him, the player that captured the hearts of Eagles fans was gone right before our eyes.

Kurt R, Associate Editor, Broad Street Hockey: When he left ... god, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was walking out of work. I had been wearing my green and white wig and Dawkins jersey because I was so fired up for free agency and my boss had finally told me to go home because I looked ridiculous. Screw him, right? Anyways. Then I opened up my phone and saw a text from a friend saying ... saying that Frank was ... was gone.

I didn't know what to do. I was crushed. I tweeted at his personal twitter account, @frankgore, because I couldn't believe that he'd leave and I wanted him to confirm the news to me, personally. He never did, which tbqh was the most upsetting part about this whole thing.

Pizza: The sudden departure of Frank Gore was the one I least expected. A fan favorite. A class act. A true Philly Guy – gritty, hard-nosed, blue collar. He truly encapsulated everything it meant to be a Philadelphia Eagle.

Wall: To be honest I'm not ready to talk about his departure. I wish him well with the Colts, but seeing him in a uniform that isn't midnight green is going to take some getting used to. I won't want him on my fantasy team this year, and I'm not sure what to do with the custom jersey I ordered the day he signed. I mean, it hasn't arrived yet (shipping takes 5-7 business days), but still.

It was bittersweet and emotional for everyone. Gore's time with the Eagles brought him to tears. And after watching DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin leave, fans were no different. Beloved player after beloved player was being jettisoned by the Eagles, and Frank Gore was a bridge too far.

Kurt: With those guys, we had been talking for weeks and months about whether or not it was a possibility that they wouldn't be here. This came out of nowhere. And those guys, I mean, none of them were Philly Guys the way that Frank was.

It's like, for me, when the Flyera traded Drew Doughty and Shea Weber on the same day a few years ago. True legends of sport for everything they did in our city. Frank was just like that for the Eaglea.

Barchard: It’s going to be really hard to replace his talent, but even harder to replace that hole in my heart. We will miss you Frank, we’re all Colts fans now.

Klausner: I don't know if The (Inconvenient) Truth will be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame one day, but he should at least be considered. Here's one thing I do know for sure, though: Frank Gore was infinitely better as an Eagle than Ronnie Brown. I wish him nothing but luck in Indianapolis, where he can be part of a squadron that will undoubtedly continue to waste Andrew Luck's career by being kinda-but-not-really-good, and certainly never good enough. And let us say, Amen.

Wall: In the immortal words of one Gordon Sumner (that's Sting, for all you 90's kids), if you love something, send it to Indy. Good luck, Frank. You may have never officially had a number in our programs, but you'll always be number one in our hearts.

The stunning departure of Gore had fans understandably upset. Yet another icon was gone at the hands of Chip Kelly.

Pizza: For the Chipper to simply dump him on the trash heap like another loud-mouthed wide receiver with attitude problems? Frank Gore was and forever will be remembered as the epitome of what it means to play football in the city of Philadelphia. He never gave up. Though it unfortunately didn’t happen, he was as committed to winning a championship here as anyone who ever put on a jersey. Shame on you, Chip. You gave up on one of the good ones.

Barchard: Personally I blame Chip Kelly on this. This is a bad way to do business and you can’t just keep stringing guys along like this. This has always been my issue, why on earth would Jeff Lurie allow this guy to be in control of the whole show? It’s been a disaster. I think we can all respect the opinion of Stephen A. Smith on this and really take a hard look at what’s going on here. The rest of the NFL thinks this is a joke and when you let go such a great talent like Frank Gore it really sends a message to anyone that wants to play with Chip Kelly. DeMarco Murray? Ryan Mathews? Sure in a two-headed monster MAYBE you could get close to the production of one Frank Gore, but I doubt it.

Kurt R: I just ... I just don't know what to say about Chip Kelly anymore, man. After his long, ugly history of being a racist, I thought that bringing in Gore ... I thought that it meant he was turning over a new leaf. But now that he, personally, as a coach, cut Al Gore, I'm pretty sure this makes him racist again. So disappointing.

Brandon Gowton, Editor in Chief, Bleeding Green Nation: I’ll never get those hours back, but I’ll always remember the page views. Thank you Frank.